A sharing lot
Quilters are known for their compassionate and caring nature, but never so much as during the holidays when food banks are low and children are going without. It makes you proud to be a quilter when you hear all the heartwarming stories of busy quilting groups and individuals who are working so hard to make a difference in the lives of so many. Thank you all for sharing your wonderful stories with us this past year.
We will be starting the new year off with a fun issue that will be on stands in a couple weeks. The January/February issue is an exciting blend of seasonal favorites. Jaunty little snowmen patterns are followed by stunning hearts and valentine designs, and then right into patterns that trumpet the change of seasons with brilliant color splashes featured in a lively tulip design.
As always, we love hearing from you and hope the holiday season is a cheerful one for all.
From our readers
Quilting for heroes…
submitted by Dixie Conkling, Winterset, Iowa
In 2001, Freddie Kologie came from Washington State to visit the Love of Quilting shop here in Winterset. Freddie beamed as Liz posed with her for a fun photo-op. Freddie has since been very, very busy. She and her friend Carol Bunyard have used their quilting skills to provide 25 'passage quilts' for the hospice portion of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Vancouver. They have donated the quilts to the Longview American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 155 and volunteers take them to the medical center. The quilts are done in shades of red, white and blue, and are used to cover the bodies of deceased veterans and then blanket the empty beds for 24 hours after the death. A candle is lighted as a memorial, and the quilts are given to the veteran's families.
In addition to making approximately one quilt a month for the veterans, she is also working on other veteran projects including making patriotic pillowcases for pillows that are donated by airline companies. These pillows are used to provide comfort and support to soldiers who have lost limbs or have serious injuries.
According to Freddie, a lot of the fabrics are donated (they must be in shades of red, white and blue and be 100-percent cotton). "This is my volunteer work," she said. "It's fun and it's a good social life."
- Please visit the web for more information on the 'Quilts of Honor' project.
Here a chick, there a chick…
submitted by Barbara Angemi, Sun City Center, FL
When we received the September/October, 2009 issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, we found the delightful 'These Ain't No Chicken Feet' pattern. With a little 'variation', our club members found this was a very fun way to share what we did this past summer. The members of the Kings Point Quilters thank you for your wonderful publication and all the inspiration it provides each month.
Suture for a Living…
It's a great thing when your work life and your personal life seem to converge serendipitously, as it has for Dr. Ramona Bates, a plastic surgeon in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Bates lives to sew, and she has since she was a child. Nowadays, it's quilts when at home and sutures when at work -- all of this when she's not writing online at Suture for a Living.
“The Belly Ache Quilt”
by Kathy Olson
After my mom, Betty, passed away this past summer from a form of pancreatic cancer, I felt compelled to share her story of the “Belly Ache Quilt.” It gave me insight on how therapeutic quilting can be and the importance of tying up loose ends.
My mom took up quilting a number of years ago and I am proud to say I have the first quilt she ever made. She has made one for each of my siblings and her grandchildren as well, and I’m sure others that I’m unaware of. Her pattern of choice was what she called the flower garden. She spent many hours cutting numerous hexagon shapes from different colored material. She hand-sewed each hexagon shape to make the top side of the quilts. A tedious task she happily did time after time. She always had a small groove thru the pointer finger of her left hand that guided the needle as she pulled it thru the material. She never took a class and wasn’t a member of a quilting club, but mom was a quilter in every sense of the word. Although she was quite proud of her finished product, she often pointed out where she made a “goof”. Once when I asked her why she did that (I could never see any of the mistakes) she replied, “You just never know who will be looking at them and it’s better to point out your own mistakes then have someone else point them out to you.”
In 2006, the church she attended was having a Sweetheart banquet and auction to raise money for the youth group. She decided to donate a quilt to be auctioned off. Little did she know the impact this decision would have on her later. As the story was told to me, it came down to two women who were bidding against each other on the quilt. One was my brother’s girlfriend at the time and the other a family friend, Molly. One would make an offer, the other counter offer and so on and so on. Finally Molly turned to my mom and asked her if she would make her one, if so, then she would let my brother’s girlfriend have the quilt. Of course mom happily agreed. Mom didn’t start on Molly’s quilt right away. In fact, it would be about three years before Molly would get her quilt.
In November of 2008, when I was home for Thanksgiving, mom said she just didn’t feel quite right and thought it was a flu bug. However, when December rolled around and Christmas drew near, she still didn’t feel good and decided to have it checked out. The doctors found one of her liver ducts was plugged by a gallstone and was not functioning properly, which also caused irritation to her pancreas. The doctors cleared the duct and ended up removing her gallbladder to avoid the situation from happening again. She thought her worries were over and she was on her way to recovery. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. After the New Year came and went, mom still did not feel well and was having trouble eating. Further tests revealed there was a tumor on her pancreas and a biopsy showed it to be cancerous and needed to be removed.
Although I am not certain when she actually started the quilt, over the next couple months, not feeling well with a bad stomach ache and not being able to eat, mom continued working on what she now called “the belly ache quilt.” She would sew on the quilt to take her mind off the pain she felt in her stomach. Surgery times were scheduled but then cancelled because mom had lost so much weight and was weak so they could not be performed. She had several trips in and out of the hospital each time with little improvement. Each stay at home, she worked on the quilt determined to finish it for Molly - and she did.
During one hospital visit, doctors discovered another cancerous tumor in her neck. Surgery would have to be put off again until mom could go through a series of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, not being able to eat, her body was weakened and after the first series of chemotherapy she succumbed to her illness on July 2, 2009.
My mom had made an agreement with Molly and even though it was one of the most difficult times of her life, she fulfilled it and gave Molly a true gift from the heart. I truly believe the illness may have taken her sooner if it was not for her determination to tie up loose ends and finish the “belly ache quilt” for Molly. During her funeral services, the “belly ache quilt” adorned her casket as a testimony to her gift of quilting and determination.
Click for a larger images.
- Molly is pictured here with mom's 'belly ache quilt'
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